battery powered cordless drills - new battery or new drill ??

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Forum topic by 1yeldud1 posted 11-19-2010 04:41 AM 15483 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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301 posts in 3928 days

11-19-2010 04:41 AM

Ok – what is the most common “fix” for a 3 year old cordless makita drill (only slightly used) – should a person invest in new battery’s since the origional won’t hold a charge or should a guy just break down and buy a new cordless drill ? What is the concensus amoung the fellow “lumber jocks” ???

24 replies so far

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4863 days

#1 posted 11-19-2010 04:49 AM


I’ve gone both ways. Frankly, I’ve been happier with the new batteries in the old drill. They’re OUTRAGEOUSLY priced but the older drill works better and is more comfortable in my hands. It’s from back in the old days before they started trying to drop a 3”x5”x1.5” battery under a micro-sized drill that has little torque. ‘sides, the new batteries in an older working tool fits my reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat lifestyle a bit better. I’m a big fan of older stuff. But then, I can relate to old. 8)


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View semi75's profile


78 posts in 3786 days

#2 posted 11-19-2010 04:51 AM

I feel your pain. The 18v batteries are terrible if you let then drain too much. They are wired that if they do not have a small charge left in them they will not recharge. From what I’ve read they do worse with lack of use and just sitting there off a charger. I own the drill, screw gun, grinder, circ saw, and rescip saw so there wasn’t much of a choice to me other than replace a battery. I have had much better luck now I don’t drain a battery completely and cycle batteries on the charger every couple of weeks even if not using them. I do like the Makita drills better than most others I have used.

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3927 days

#3 posted 11-19-2010 04:58 AM

If the drill is still in good shape and it is doing all you need it to then I would go with the new Battery. But if the thing is only slightly used and the battery is already dead then I would go with something new. You might be buying new batteries quite a bit. Do some research on the drill/battery and see if there is a problem. My Dewalt charger reconditions the batteries and they have lasted me 5 years and still quite powerful.

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3769 days

#4 posted 11-19-2010 05:05 AM

I’m going through the same decision process right now; I have a 3yr old 18V cordless drill which I’ve put through its paces and been quite satisfied, however the batteries don’t have the same kick that they used to. Replacement batteries are relatively inexpensive, but my love of new shiny toys is tempting me towards a new drill. Probably should just stick with what I know, and am already happy with though.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View FMG's profile


65 posts in 4167 days

#5 posted 11-19-2010 05:18 AM

I agree with Whit. The new batteries are the way to go. Most of the newer drills have been a disappointment for me personally. Including Milwaukee which I was a huge fan of.

-- FMG- Woodworking is 90% mental the other half is physical

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4779 days

#6 posted 11-19-2010 05:26 AM

new drill and batteries and throw the old one out

Even better, ..........I might consider buying a corded electric one. In the end they are less expensive if you rarely pick the tool up and having no batteries so they never dissappoint ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4779 days

#7 posted 11-19-2010 05:41 AM

I have a 12V Makita bought about 9 years ago, both battery and drill are dead

I have a Black and Decker that is also dead

I have a ridgid thats dead

and I have a Delta thats dead

I also have a recent addition of a Milwaukee that is DYING.

I also have an old corded DeWalt that refuses to die, its almost as old as all the battery drills combined, and the only one left with any balls…...........mind you its corded?

Battery operated tools are rarely something some one should count on

they die way more prematurely then the “plug it in” kind

we get lazy with age

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4156 days

#8 posted 11-19-2010 06:36 AM

Although I agree that a corded drill is much superior… There are times you really don’t have an outlet…and need some quick pilots/screws.

I would opt for a new battery if that is the problem – I would apt for a new drill if it is not using a Lithium battery….anything using the old type batteriies (NiCd or whatever) I would replace.

I have a Milwaukee set and a Dewalt set. The Milwaukee is near 5 years old and I have only had to replace 1 battery. This is the 28 volt system. I got a super great deal from factory rep on a Dewalt 36 volt system that had been his demo set…and now I have both…the Dewalt is only 3 years old…but it is working great and I haven’t seen any sluggishness whatsoever from the batteries – the 36 volt has nice torque.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3751 days

#9 posted 11-19-2010 06:51 AM

The batteries in my Dewalt 12v drill died a couple years ago, while the drill was still in great shape. My wife found an aftermarket manufacturer of batteries instead of a new Dewalt battery. It is an exact fix for the drill. The thing is, it was cheaper then a new dewalt battery (about $65) and according to the specs, it has longer-lasting power than the OEM battery. I have been very happy with it, under moderate use. I don’t recall the site where she got it, but google for replacement batteries. I’ll bet they make a replacement for your model, too.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3846 days

#10 posted 11-19-2010 01:31 PM

what type of battery does it hold? NiCad or Li-I? there is a trick to “revive” dead NiCad batteries by shocking them with a welder. im gonna try it on a friends dead drill battery, i only have recent lithium batteries and no probs.
google the welder trick.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3847 days

#11 posted 11-19-2010 02:55 PM

Lumber2Sawdust, do you have the name of the outfit? I have a Ryobi battery that needs replacing. Most places charge a bunch for the replacement batteries. The only real advantage of the cordless drill is that it has more torque that the electric drill.

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 4252 days

#12 posted 11-19-2010 05:33 PM

I had an old Rioby that I really liked but after 10 years or so, it died. So I did throw it away.

Since then I have tried to buy cordless tools that can share batteries. I have a couple of Hitachi tools that each have two batteries that are interchangeable.

Recently, I have bought a couple of Rigid tools. My 18volt drill had a battery go bad and Rigid replaced it with no problems. So I am probably going to continue buying Rigid tools. They are good tools and the lifetime battery warranty is hard to beat.

This probably doesn’t answer your current question but might help you if you decide to buy new.


View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4907 days

#13 posted 11-19-2010 06:32 PM

The newer drills are set up with LITHIUM ion batteries. This makes tham more powerful per pound of drill and the batteries charge in 15 minutes. The result is you can get a fistfull of power that doesn’t give you a struggle when you use it.
The battery life on these drills is years instead of months and you can partially charge them which give the older Ni Cads memory problems.
Yep they are pricey but cry once.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View RalphBarker's profile


80 posts in 3655 days

#14 posted 11-19-2010 07:05 PM

I think the advances in battery technology might push one toward the new-drill side of the issue. That said, I concluded years ago that I didn’t use a cordless often enough to keep the batteries in shape, so I went back to corded tools. If there’s no outlet available, or the cord won’t reach, there’s always the old eggbeater or the brace.

View Radu's profile


333 posts in 3929 days

#15 posted 11-19-2010 07:23 PM

I don’t mean to hijack your thread but I am pretty much in your situation. I have had an 18 V (Viper) for about 6-7 years that served me well. I used it but not abused it. One of the batteries was not holding power but the other one was OK. Recently, one day I decided to charge the “bad” one and as soon as I set it in the charger both the charge and full LED lights on charger came on. I tried the battery after a while and it was still dead. When I set the good one in the charger, though it was discharged the full LED light on charger came on. It’s still charging but it seems to take longer and I can hear a ticking. I wonder how many ticks until it goes Kaboom.
I think it’s time for a new one. My question is do I need and 18 V or a 12 V will do (again for somebody who’s not using it every day; besides I do have a corded one). Thanks.

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